Selectmen take no action on potential senior services

by Mary Grow

China selectmen continued to talk about potential services for senior citizens at their Oct. 3 meeting, while agreeing they could take no action until they see whether voters support their Nov. 8 request for $3,800 to fund a survey of senior residents’ needs. Board members Joann Austin and Neil Farrington reported briefly on a Maine Council on Aging conference they attended, sparking a discussion of possible senior housing or medical amenities China might develop.

Austin doubts a town as small as China would appeal to a commercial developer of elderly housing. However, she said, a representative of Volunteers of America, an organization that has two assisted living facilities in northern Massachusetts (but according to its website, none in Maine, New Hampshire or Vermont) expressed interest in talking with China selectmen and looking at the Fairpoint building on Route 3. Farrington has suggested the Fairpoint building could house a medical center, a day care for children and the elderly or both.

China officials are also discussing with Vassalboro officials provision of bus transportation for residents of both towns.

In other business Oct. 3, board members appointed two Palermo representatives, Cheryl York and Dwain McKenney, to the Transfer Station Committee. Palermo will begin using China’s transfer station in January 2017.

Town Manager Daniel L’Heureux said the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Committee has already spent “a few thousand” dollars of the up-to-$50,000 authorized at the March town meeting on planning and engineering costs associated with planned recreational development at the head of China Lake’s east basin.

He asked for and got from the selectmen approval to approve continued spending as engineer Mark McCluskey of A. E. Hodson organizes a meeting with state Department of Environ­mental Protection staff to discuss issues involved in applying for a permit for the work.

China voters are asked to express their views on this issue on Nov. 8, too. One ballot question asks voters to approve an expenditure of up to $12,000 to acquire a parcel of land for parking, as part of the plan; and proposed amendments to the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance include a change that would clear the way for the proposed fishing platforms over China Lake. Representatives of the State Police and Kennebec County Sheriff’s department attended the meeting to suggest additional ways to deal with mischief and nuisances on China’s back roads.

The next regular China selectmen’s meeting is the evening of Oct. 17. It will be held at China Middle School and will be preceded by a 6 p.m. public hearing on the Nov. 8 local ballot questions.


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